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How to care for a dog with epilepsy

Photo of dog having an epileptic seizure

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that can affect dogs of all ages. It’s characterized by seizures caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Watching your dog have a seizure can be distressing, but you can help ensure their well-being with proper care and management. Here are some tips on caring for a dog with epilepsy.

Recognizing the warning signs of seizure in dogs

Recognize the warning signs of a seizure early so you can be prepared to help keep your dog safe. Look for:

· Confusion

· Trembling

· Drooling

· Falling over

· Restlessness

· Glossy or dazed eyes

· Staying close to their human

· Hiding

· Vocalization

· Foaming at the mouth

Your dog may also get aggressive, so keep your hands away from its head and mouth.

Consult a veterinarian

If this is your dog’s first seizure, visit a dog veterinary clinic right away. A vet will examine your dog to determine the underlying cause of the seizures and work with you to determine the best treatment plan. The vet may prescribe anticonvulsant medications to manage and control seizures. If so, sticking to the recommended dosage will be essential.

Take your dog to a veterinarian if a seizure lasts more than five minutes or if your dog is having cluster seizures — multiple seizures in a single day. These types of seizures can be fatal if left untreated.

Create a safe environment

Even with medication, a seizure can still happen. If it does, create a safe space for your dog, like a room with soft furniture or a padded crate. Make your pet comfortable by lowering it to the floor and eliminate risks of falling off furniture, down the stairs or into a sharp object. Dogs can overheat while convulsing, so keep its temperature down with fans or a cool, wet cloth.

Preventing seizures in dogs with epilepsy

Here are some non-medicinal steps you can take to manage your dog’s epilepsy:

· Avoid triggers. Some epileptic dogs have triggers that cause seizures. Triggers vary from dog to dog, but common ones include stress, lack of sleep, changes in diet or medication, loud music, flashing lights, strong smells and insect stings.

· Keep a seizure journal. Track your dog's seizures in a journal and identify any patterns and triggers. This information can be helpful for your veterinarian when adjusting your dog's treatment plan.

· Give your dog a healthy lifestyle. You may be able to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures by ensuring your dog gets regular exercise, a balanced diet and plenty of sleep.

Your trusted dog hospital in Toronto

At Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, we provide comprehensive veterinarian services at our dog hospital in Toronto. Whether it’s treating canine diseases, spaying and neutering, vaccinations or microchipping, our caring veterinarians will treat your dog like their own. Contact us today to book an appointment.

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